Students Seek Quality Higher Education in the Face of California Budget Cuts

As the effects of vast state budget cuts at California's public higher education institutions are felt, more students may rely on the stability of private schools like Academy of Art University for a quality education. Academy of Art University's student population has grown continuously in recent years, a trend that the school plans to support as public institutions face budget cuts that could significantly stall enrollment.

California State University (CSU) recently announced measures to address an unprecedented budget reduction of $584 million for 2009-10. CSU has stopped accepting student applications for the 2010 spring term. CSU has typically enrolled more than 35,000 freshmen, undergraduate transfer and graduate students during the spring term.

State budget cuts do not affect privately funded schools like Academy of Art University. "The Academy continues to offer a world-class educational experience in art and design. We welcome all students interested in pursuing a creative career," said Dr. Elisa Stephens, Academy of Art University president.

CSU has been working to finalize a plan to address the unprecedented budget cuts, which will include measures to reduce enrollment, employee furloughs, possible student fee increases, salary and hiring freezes, and restrictions on travel and purchases. Overall, CSU is looking to reduce its enrollment by 40,000 students system wide for 2010-2011.

While budget cuts force state-funded schools to consider cutting degree programs, Academy of Art University recently announced the addition of two new majors to meet the increasing demand for quality art school programs. The School of Game Design offers AA, BFA, and MFA degrees in a variety of specializations. Students can pursue their love for music for film, TV, and on the Web in the new School of Music for Visual Media.

In addition to limiting enrollment and cutting programs, state budget cuts could lead to a less qualified faculty and a diminished classroom experience for state-funded schools. Higher salaries will draw the best teachers to more competitive schools, and fewer instructors mean fuller classrooms.

The enrollment reductions and service cuts at state-funded schools are prompting many students to transfer to private schools like Academy of Art University. The Academy accepts transfer credits from many institutions and welcomes students seeking quality higher education.

With small class sizes and a high graduate job placement rate, Academy of Art University is committed to its exceptional standard of art school education. The Academy will continue to prepare the creative work force of California, the nation and beyond, regardless of state budget cuts.